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Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Goodbye, Mr. Chips(1939)

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The screen credits contain the following inscriptions: "To Sidney Franklin...For his contribution in the preparation of the production...Grateful acknowledgement," and "We wish to acknowledge here our gratitude to the late Irving Thalberg, whose inspiration illuminates the picture of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. [Signed] James Hilton, Victor Saville, Sam Wood, Sidney A. Franklin, R. C. Sherriff, Claudine West and Eric Maschwitz." James Hilton's novel was serialized in British Weekly in December 1933. According to studio publicity information, Thalberg purchased Goodbye, Mr. Chips from galley proofs and originally assigned Sidney Franklin to direct. Franklin, however, subsequently became an M-G-M producer and was replaced as director by Sam Wood. Hollywood Reporter news items in December 1936 and January 1938 announced that Charles Laughton would be playing the title role. The 1936 news item also listed Erich Pommer as the producer and director of the film. The picture marked the screen debut of English stage actress Greer Garson who, according to modern sources was personally signed for the picture by M-G-M studio head Louis B. Mayer after Mayer saw her in a London stage play. According to a Photo study guide to the picture, some filming took place at Repton School, an English public school founded in 1557, where many students and faculty members participated in the production. Robert Donat won an Academy Award for his performance, and the picture was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture. Director Sam Wood was nominated for in addition to actress Greer Garson, who made her motion picture debut in the film. Screenwriters Eris Maschwitz, R. C. Sherriff and Claudine West were nominated for their screenplay, as was Charles Frend for Film Editing and A. W. Watkins for Sound Recording. The picture also appeared on Film Daily's and the National Board of Review's ten best lists for 1939, and received the "best picture" distinction in the Hollywood Reporter Preview Poll of May 1939.
       A 1969 U.S./Great Britain remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, produced by APJAC Productions and released by M-G-M, was directed by Herbert Ross and starred Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.1910). A Masterpiece Theatre/B.B.C. teleplay of the story, starring Roy Marsden, aired on the PBS network on January 4, 1987. A Lux Radio Theatre production of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, featuring Laurence Olivier as Mr. Chips, was broadcast on November 20, 1939.